Wolves winger Adama Traore has been called up for Spain’s national team squad ahead of next month’s UEFA Nations League fixtures against Germany and Ukraine.
The 24-year-old was initially called up for the Spanish team in November last year, and could have possibly made his international debut against Malta or Romania in the Euro 2020 qualifiers, but was forced to withdraw due to injury.
Born in Spain, Traore has represented the Spanish side several at youth levels but is eligible to play for Mali, the country of his parents.
And in January, he said he was still undecided about his international future but stated that “if Spain come again I will be in a position to go and train with Spain.”
Luis Enrique, the Spain manager, said of Traore: “In these last two seasons in England he has improved a lot.”
“He is hungry and eager to continue improving. He can bring us many things.”
This means that Traore could make his senior national team debut for Spain when they face Germany on September 3 or against Ukraine on September 6.
Traore scored six goals and recorded 12 assists in 54 appearances for Wolves in all competitions this season, and was an influential figure as they finished 7th on the table with 59 points – their highest tally in the Premier League, and making it to the Europa League quarterfinals before eventually getting knockout out by tournament specialists Sevilla.
Also making the latest Spain call-up list is Barcelona winger Ansu Fati.
The 17-year-old was born in Guinea-Bissau but moved to Spain the age of six with his parents, and had a stellar breakthrough season with the Catalan club after making his debut in August 2019, scoring eight goals in 33 appearances.
Fati was granted Spanish citizenship in September last year and has already featured for the Spain U-21 team.
Osimhen Returns As Rohr Invites 24 For Sierra Leone
After missing out of the Super Eagles friendlies against Algeria and Tunisia in Austria, Napoli’s striker, Victor Osimhen, returns to the Super Eagles ahead of the double-header against Sierra Leone next month.
Nigeria plays Sierra Leone in 2022 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers in November and for the encounters, the team manager, Gernot Rohr, has called up Ahmed Musa, defender William Ekong, midfield enforcer Oghenekaro Etebo and 21 others.
Defenders Kenneth Omeruo, Leon Balogun and Chidozie Awaziem, midfielder Alex Iwobi and forwards Moses Simon, Samuel Chukwueze and Chidera Ejuke are also called.
Nigeria’s leading marksman in the series, Victor Osimhen returns after missing out of this month’s friendlies against Algeria and Tunisia, just as midfielder Joseph Ayodele-Aribo and South Africa –based goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi.
Switzerland –based goalkeeper Sebastian Osigwe will hope to earn his first cap for Nigeria, while defenders Kevin Akpoguma and Zaidu Sanusi, who impressed in the friendlies in Austria, have been handed opportunities to add to their caps.
There are seven players on standby, including defender Abdullahi Shehu, goalkeeper Francis Uzoho, midfielders Ramon Azeez and Samson Tijani, and forward Paul Onuachu.
The Super Eagles take on the Leone Stars at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin City on Friday, 13th November before flying to Freetown for the return game on Tuesday, 17th November at the Siaka Stevens Stadium.
Players are expected to report at the Protea Hotel Emotan in Benin City on Monday, 9th November. Victory in both encounters will all but guarantee Nigeria a slot at the 2022 Africa Cup of Nations finals holding in Cameroon.
THE FULL LIST
Goalkeepers: Daniel Akpeyi (Kaizer Chiefs, South Africa); Sebastian Osigwe (FC Lugano, Switzerland); Maduka Okoye (Sparta Rotterdam, The Netherlands)
Defenders: Kenneth Omeruo (CD Leganes, Spain); Leon Balogun (Glasgow Rangers, Scotland); Chidozie Awaziem (FC Boavista, Portugal); William Ekong (Watford FC, England); Olaoluwa Aina (Fulham FC, England); Jamilu Collins (SC Padeborn 07, Germany); Oluwasemilogo Ajayi (West Bromwich Albion, England); Zaidu Sanusi (FC Porto, Portugal); Kevin Akpoguma (TSG 1899 Hoffenheim, Germany)
Midfielders: Oghenekaro Etebo (Galatasaray, Turkey); Tyronne Ebuehi (FC Twente, Netherlands); Frank Onyeka (FC Midtjylland, Denmark); Joseph Ayodele-Aribo (Glasgow Rangers, Scotland)
Forwards: Ahmed Musa (Unattached); Alex Iwobi (Everton FC, England); Emmanuel Dennis Bonaventure (Club Brugge, Belgium); Moses Simon (FC Nantes, France); Samuel Chukwueze (Villarreal FC, Spain); Victor Osimhen (Napoli FC, Italy); Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City, England); Chidera Ejuke (CSKA Moscow, Russia)
Standby: Francis Uzoho (APOEL Nicosia, Cyprus); Samson Tijani (TSV Hartberg, Austria); Abdullahi Shehu (Omonia Nicosia, Cyprus); Ramon Azeez (Granada CF, Spain); Kelechi Nwakali (SD Huesca, Spain); Ikechukwu Ezenwa (Heartland FC); Paul Onuachu (KRC Genk, Belgium)
Nigeria Begins Bid To Qualify For 2021 Afrobasket November 27
Nigeria senior men basketball team, D’Tigers, will begin its quest to pick up one of the qualifying tickets for the 2021 FIBA Afrobasket on November 27, 2020.
The 2021 FIBA Afrobasket is being co-hosted by Rwanda and Egypt. But Nigeria will start her race for qualification against Algeria on Nov. 27 in Algiers. the North African country’s capital city.
The leadership of the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) has said that qualification for the 2021 FIBA Afrobasket Men’s tournament was non-negotiable.
Nigeria’s D’Tigers, 2015 champions in their last appearance at the Afrobasket showpiece, were second in 2017 behind Tunisia which also jointly co-hosted the event with Senegal.
According to a statement by the NBBF Media Coordinator, Afolabi Oni in Lagos the NBBF would put all logistics in motion to see the D’Tigers qualify.
It said that with gradual return of international basketball following the disruption of the global calendar due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the NBBF has set its sight on a successful outing.
It also said that the NBBF President, Musa Kida, said preparations had started in earnest to ensure that the Olympics-bound D’Tigers qualify for its 28th Afrobasket tournament.
“We are aware of the huge task before us to ensure another seamless qualification for Afrobasket.
“We know that millions of Nigerians are expecting us to qualify without drama and that is exactly what we are working towards.”
“Currently ranked 26th globally and 1st in Africa, Nigeria is grouped alongside host – Rwanda, Mali and Algeria in Group D.
Kida stressed the need for early training camp and preparations to adequately get the team ready.
“No more minnows in African basketball. All the teams in our group deserve to be there and they deserve our respect.
“We need to prepare early and adequately to live up to pre-tournament ratings by pundits.
“We cannot afford to let our fans down. They are already looking beyond the qualification series from Nov. 27 to Nov. 29, and Feb. 19 to Feb. 21, 2021,”Kida said.
D’Tigers, who will be seeking her second championship title when the competition dunks off will conclude its first round of qualification campaign against West African opposition, Mali on Nov. 29.
The top three teams in each group will qualify for the 2021 FIBA Afrobasket tournament taking place in Kigali, Rwanda between Aug. 21 and Sept. 5, 2021.
Akpeyi recalled by Nigeria for Sierra Leone games
Kaizer Chiefs goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi has been recalled to the Nigeria national team for November’s Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifying double-header against Sierra Leone.
Akpeyi’s last game for the Super Eagles of Nigeria was in November 17, 2019 against Lesotho at the Setsoto Satium, Maseru where Nigeria won by 4-2.
Injury to the Kaizer Chiefs shot-stopper led to his exclusion from the Nigerian squad that faced African Champions Algeria and later Tunisia in October’s international friendlies.
Akpeyi has now been invited to the Super Eagles squad and is set to compete for a starters spot when Nigeria faces Sierra Leone in the 2022 AFCON qualifier.
“Daniel Akpeyi returns to the Nigerian team for their upcoming Group L home and away games against Sierra Leone,” a statement from Chiefs read.
“Akpeyi who has already played in the Super Eagles’ opening two games of the qualifiers against Benin and Lesotho, will face Sierra Leone at home in Benin City on 13 November and in Free Town on 17 November.”
The shot-stopper missed out on Kaizer Chiefs 3-0 defeat by Mamelodi Sundowns, but made a return to the team when his side got a 1-0 away victory against Chippa United at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.
Sierra Leone are looking to qualify for the AFCON tournament for the third time, but the are at the bottom of Group L having started their qualification campaign poorly.
The first leg of the double-header will be played on November 13 at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Nigeria, while the return leg will be held four days later at the National Stadium, Freetown, Sierra Leone.
The Super Eagles of Nigeria have featured at the biennial showpiece 17 times, emerging victorious on three occasions, finishing as runners-up four times and third for a record eight times.
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